Always, we repeat, always start with a mirepoix, a mixture of finely chopped vegetables (such as onions, leeks, carrots and celery) and herbs sautéed in butter (or olive oil). This will form the flavour base of the soup.
You’ll need one or two cans of tomatoes, whole, crushed or puréed, depending on your preference. Remember that what you choose will affect the consistency of the soup and you may need to use a blender to get the desired texture. The other important ingredient is tomato paste; your tomato soup will get most of its tomatoey flavour from this concentrate.
Pro-tip: If you find tomato soup too acidic, add a little sugar or ½ t bicarbonate of soda to counteract this.
We suggest you serve your tomato soup with a grilled cheese toastie, as seen in this recipe. Or roast the tomatoes first and serve them with cheesy phyllo sandwiches as in this recipe. For a spicier version, we suggest this balsamic, chilli, tomato and roasted red pepper soup recipe.
Use the best-looking cauliflower you can find. It does well roasted whole or broken into florets and roasted. It pairs well with cream and Parmesan (it’s definitely worth the splurge.) Try the roast cauliflower, garlic and white bean soup here.
Add the juice of an orange for a citrusy spin on flavour. Add curry powder or a few slices of chilli for a spicy twist, or simply dress it up with sliced chorizo, chickpeas and feta, find the recipe here.
Broths can be quite salty. If you’re not a fan and a recipe calls for salt, do a taste test and add it later if necessary.
Pro tip: If you like your veggies with a bit of crunch, poach them for a shorter time.
How to thicken soups
- Flour, used in a roux with butter, can be used to thicken sauces or soups.
- Use cornflour and cold water (or stock) and whisk into a slurry.
- Peel and dice one or two potatoes, add them to the stock and allow to simmer until soft, then blend.
- If you want a really thick soup without flour, cornflour or potatoes ( for example cauliflower soup) simply increase the ratio of vegetable to stock (or water) and blend.